Community unites at Manchester Road to support one another

A local Southport out-of town centre community have united to seek a more favourable set of conditions on Manchester Road when the popular carriageway closes for up to 17 days.

Having previously run a successful community- led campaign to overturn proposed car parking restrictions in the area previously a team of campaigners seek to once deploy their same positive and constructive approach with a view to securing the best outcome for all concerned.

Sefton Council is presently undertaking a series of major roadworks to improve pedestrian safety on the street and shall be shortly closing a large partition of the road during May.

The Council has issued a notice saying it plans to close a stretch of Manchester Road and Roe Lane between May 2-19, with a diversion set up via Queens Road, Park Crescent and Park Avenue.

Just some of the neighbourhood concerns raised already with resort Councillor David Barton earlier today on a site visit to Manchester Road have included:-

  • Business trade becoming stifled through lack of accessibility to shops
  • Reduced access to cars during the 2 week period

Having spoken at length to a contingent of both incumbent and new business owners and residents the Community team have proposed that the Council should agree to undertake the roadworks one lane at a time, retaining access for shoppers and residents.

Louise Hankinson-Everatt, who runs the VIP Hair Emporium on the affected stretch of road, says business owners are also unhappy at the lack of communication over the plans.

She said: “It was very vague, no-one has ever told us exactly what is happening or when.

“If cars can’t get down here at all, there’s only going to be pedestrians and that’s going to have a massive effect.

“We’re saying if it’s going to be closed that long, some of the businesses here aren’t going to last. We’re all worried.

“It’s a main road into Southport town centre so there’s going to be a knock-on affect there too.

Louise is keen to stress that the workers at the site have been helpful and accommodating throughout, but that the issue instead lies with the impact on the businesses.

The Naughty But Nice sandwich shop and neighbouring flower shop are said to have badly felt the impact of the loss of footfall, and traders are hoping for an alternative plan to the road closure.

Louise added: “Our intentions would be to keep one lane open at a time so cars can still get through, so businesses can stay open and residents can get to their homes.

“We’ve had three new businesses open who are trying to find their feet and it’s making it impossible for them.”

Cllr David Barton has added his voice to those asking for an alternative to a whole road closure

He said: “Having worked previously with Louise and the community in the Manchester Road area on our successful campaign to retain car parking facilities I have once again pledged my support in regarding the resurfacing of the carriageway.

“This is a local matter that has such a far reaching impact on so many people. I have been in touch with Sefton Council and asked that the road is resurfaced in an incremental manner, and for the 18 inch additional paving on the westwards side to be reduced thus allowing for more car parking spaces.”


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